Fresh Baked: MAY 7, 2021

Happy Friday!! Have you all recovered from iNSD? There were some great sales and fun going on. Personally, I’m ready for the weekend because it means vacation for me. I have a beach calling my name.

Remember when you spend $10 in the store you get this great and fun collab as a gift!

There are some great Fresh Baked items this week. A few designers have special kits for Mother’s Day.

Dear Friends Designs

Dear Friends Designs by Trina

Are you getting a good start on your challenges? Completing 10 challenges will get you this great collab as a reward.

Tutorial Tuesday (GingerScraps Gallery)

Uploading Your Layouts to the Gallery – Step-by-Step 

Sometimes we forget that we’re being joined by new GingerScrappers all the time. And we forget that not everybody has expert computer/web skills. Suzanne Powell has the added challenge of health-related obstacles and she asked if she could have some very straight-forward instructions on uploading her layouts to the Gallery. Well, of course she can!! Let’s get her up and running…

We’ll start right at the beginning, with the Home Page. Across the top, just under the site banner, is a navigation bar with buttons for each of the high-traffic areas on the site. Right in the middle is the Gallery button.

Clicking on that takes us to… the Gallery Home Page. There’s a link to the rules for the Gallery, which explain maximum image and file sizes, very important information that I’ll expand on at the end. The dark blue navigation bar has all the required Gallery functions and a counter that keeps track of all the comments left for your layouts. Just to the left of the counter is the Upload Photos button.

The Gallery command centre looks like this. At the top are some reminders about Gallery limits. It also shows how many images you’ve begun to upload process for but haven’t yet completed. (YES! It’s possible to batch-upload, but that’s a topic for another time.) In the middle of the page is where all the choices are made. I usually start by deciding which Gallery (aka album) my layout belongs in.

Right at the very top of the drop-down that opens when the little arrow is clicked is the Member Galleries area. Each person who has a Gallery at GingerScraps has her own Gallery. Every layout a member uploads is automatically sent to the Member Gallery. Each of the GingerBread Ladies has a Gallery, and each of the Challenges has a Gallery. More about that in a second. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to Members to create their own online albums in the Gallery, but it is possible to add specific layouts to one’s own personal My Favorites album.

The typeface for these Galleries is very small, and Suzanne is having particular trouble with that. Did you know you can Zoom in on your screen the same way you can Zoom in on your layouts? Holding down the CTRL/CMD key and clicking the + sign Zooms in to 110%. The sharpness of the display is affected a little but not enough to be an issue. A second click on the + sign brings the size to 125% and a third click to 150%. Reversing it is easy, CTRL/CMD and the – key does the job.

Before we move on, be aware that navigating the Gallery list isn’t as simple as it sounds. You may have to scroll (slowly) down the list to find the one you’re looking for, particularly if you’re uploading Challenge layouts. You want to be positive you’re putting it into the correct YEAR‘s Gallery. When missdamsel goes looking for your layouts to verify your monthly Cookie Jar count, she won’t include it if she can’t find it! The problem with the Challenges yearly galleries is that they’re not in chronological order, so take the extra minute or so to make sure you’re in the right place!

Once you’ve chosen the Gallery you’re uploading to, it’s time to upload that layout! Click the Choose File button and then find your layout. As you can see, I use a folder system to keep everything easily located. It looks cumbersome but I find it really streamlines certain parts of the process. Click on your image, then click the Open button.

Once you’ve selected the image for upload, this menu opens up. This is a busy image, so I’ve numbered each of the things that need some expansion.

  1. Make sure you’ve got the correct Gallery! you can change it if you need to.
  2. Make sure you’ve got the correct image!
  3. Give your layout a name.
  4. In the Description box, break down your layout and provide credits to the Designer(s) whose product you’ve used. You can also include your journaling here if it’s hard to read on the (itsy-bitsy) image, and any other detail you think is important.
  5. Decide whether you want other Members to be able to make comments on your layouts, and whether you want to be notified when someone gives you some love. (Who doesn’t??)

When you’re satisfied you’ve got everything the way you want it, click Upload/Submit.

Almost there! This seems like a redundancy, but it’s a vital step. If your image is too big, this is where the system will tell you so. The maximum size is 600 x 600 pixels for the image and 500 kB for the file size. Check to see that your layout thumbnail is there. Sometimes the Gallery Gremlins toss out your credits, or they don’t like your title, especially if you’ve used punctuation or a special character. As you can see, part of my title is gone, because I had an apostrophe in it. Everything from the apostrophe on – poof. BUT!! I can add all of it back in here and it’ll be fine. My credits are right there. Perfect. And here’s where you can decide if you want to put your layout into more than one Gallery. The caveat to that is this: each of the Galleries you choose here will count as an individual layout for your daily upload limit, which is 8 images. If you’ve got several layouts you’re uploading at one time, you’ll get a message telling you you’re over your limit when you’re really not. Never fear… ObiJanKenobi has a work-around! Just select a single Gallery in this step. Then, when you’ve completed the process, you can go back and Edit Photo, adding in all the Galleries you want. Easy-peasy! This is also where you can add in some keywords describing your layout, such as the Challenge name, or some other descriptor that will be searchable later.

When you’ve filled in all the blanks and have all the information you need in there, you can click Process.

And there it is! The most recent layout added to my personal Gallery is first on the list. The title is correct, the image is correct and it’s all good!

Would you like a tutorial on batch uploading? Or do you think you can figure it out on your own? Lemme know!

Before I go, I want to give a shout-out to the one and only GINGER who gets these tutorials into PDF form so you can save them to your own computers. I think it’s been a game-changer!

{This is Ginger jumping in to add the PDF … Awe thanks for the shout-out Jan, you’re the best!}
Here is the PDF version of this tutorial: https://bit.ly/3vCfa1u

Designer Spotlight: May 2021

Miss Fish and Shepherd Studio!

What a hectic day today is… {inter}National Scrapbook Day, the May Buffet, all the new Challenges and of course, the Designer Spotlight. I’m running behind, as usual, but I’ve got the goods on the two amazing GingerBread Ladies in the Spotlight this month and they’re coming right up! Juli is the oh-so-talented brain behind the Miss Fish template empire and Jenn is the creator of Shepherd Studio.

Welcome to the GingerScraps Blog, ladies. Let’s get to know you both a bit better.

 

Jan: Can you describe your workspace for us?

Jenn: It desperately wants to be clean, but it’s usually not.

Juli: This year I expanded my workspace to two locations in my house. I have a downstairs workstation in our Family Room so I can design while my husband and I watch TV. I also have a workspace in my work-from-home office space in the sitting area of our master bedroom. This way I can design at lunch and early in the morning. I find it’s nice to be able to move between spaces to get a break throughout the day. I use a laptop and have an external hard drive that I move between stations to keep all my designs.

Jan: I can really relate Jenn! What one word would your family and friends use to describe you?

Juli: Helpful – I always like to help my family and friends.  If you are having a party, I’m your girl.  Invite me over and I’ll cook, help you set up, clean and anything else you need. 

Jenn: Sincere

Jan: I like to think I’m a bit of both. Jenn, what would your perfect vacation look like?

Jenn: Someplace cold with beautiful natural scenery (fingers crossed I get to Antarctica some day!)

Jan: Ooh, have you been to Canada? There are so many places here that are amazing in winter! Juli, this is an oddball question, but a fun one. Are you more likely to sing or dance in the shower?

Juli: Definitely sing.  If I danced in the shower I’d probably fall!

Jan: A year ago my answer to that would be the same as yours. Our new house has a huge walk-in shower and I’ve been known to do a little dancin’ in there! So, now that spring is upon North America, do either of you have a green thumb? I’m going to make the rounds of the garden centres with my daughter next weekend.

Jenn: I do and I used to plant flowers and plants for my grandparents every Spring. They’ve both been gone for many years now and I haven’t planted much of anything since. But our yard blooms every Spring and turns the most beautiful shades of green. I like to think it’s because they’re shining down on us.

Jan: My yard is always a work in progress. I love getting dirty. What did you want to be when you were small? 

Jenn: A paleontologist – I still have a deep love for all things dinosaur.

Juli: I wanted to be a teacher.  Part of my full-time job is teaching doctors and people on my team – so my dream kind of came true.

Jan: I never really saw myself in a teaching role, but here I am… Nursing involves a LOT of teaching and I like to think I’m pretty good at it. Tell me, Juli… What’s your dream car?

Juli: An Audi R8 convertible in red.

Jan: That would be a sweet ride for sure! Jenn, who would you choose to play you if a movie was made about your life?

Jenn: Kate Winslet!

Jan: She’s fabulous. And beautiful! Imagine if you won the lottery. What would you do?

Jenn: Retire and travel the world.

Juli: I would quit my real-life job and start a consulting company.  I’d also buy a house on the water and a boat so my husband and I could spend more time relaxing. 

Jan: Nice!! I’m really jumping around here… thank you for just going with it. Juli, what are your favourite and most hated colours?

Juli: My most favorite colors are blue and yellow.  My least favorite colors are brown and orange.

Jan: I don’t love brown or orange either! Still your turn – What celebrity would you like to meet at Starbucks for coffee?

Juli: President Obama. I’d love to hear what it was like to be the first black president and what his plans are for the future. 

Jan: He’s a fascinating man. That would be an experience for sure! We’re almost done… now for the hard questions. If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

Jenn: Occasionally spicy!!

Juli: My warning label would say just do what she asks and everything will be just fine.  Otherwise, watch out! 

Jan: Mine would be a mile long! And to close out our chat, the really dreaded question: if you could change one thing about yourself, what would it?

Juli: I would change my weight. I’d love to be back to the size I was in college.  Then exercising and staying fit would be so much easier! 

Jenn: I’d love to be in better health.

Jan: I think you’re both in good company there. Thank you so much for sharing a little peek into your inner selves, and for sharing your talents with us too. Remember GingerScrappers, the Designers in the Spotlight also provide the monthly Daily Download, links found here on the Blog, AND s/he/they host the Designer Spotlight Challenge (linked above) too. Enjoy your Spotlight, ladies! Thanks again!!

 

 

Fresh Baked: May 1, 2021, iNSD, NEW Guest, NEW Free With Purchase, Monthly Mix, and More

Happy May Day! May brings us iNSD. Have you been over to the forum yet to see all the fabulous things we have going on?

This mega collab is yours as a gift with any $20 spent in the store.

Don’t forget to check out the Buffet Bundles. One easy click to add bundles of Buffet goodies to your cart.

Look at these gorgeous spring colors for May. The designers had fun with these colors. Also check at the bottom to see some samples from our talented store creative team.

Remember any $10 spent in the store gets you this great collab. So many bright colors.

The colors in the May Monthly Mix go so well together.

Now to the May Sneak Peek. This month’s Daily Download is a collab from Miss Fish and Shepherd Studio.

I’m excited to announce that we have a guest designer for May.

Carol W Designs

Bio:
Hi~Everyone~I’m Carol
Nice to meet you all. I come from China. Chinese name is: WEN XIN
Now I live with my parents and a little dog.
I’ve been working with scrapbook since 2009.
I like it very much. A page in a scrapbook.
I had a terrible car accident in 2015. So far one is resting at home recovering.
I became a template designer in 2018. Now we are starting to design some collections as well.
I hope you like my design.

Take a look at the new challenge reward kit. If you complete any 10 challenges this month, you get this beautiful collab as a reward!

And to complete a wonderful Buffet post, let’s see some samples from our talented store CT. You can find more samples in the Gallery.

April 30, 2021: iNSD and Fresh Baked Fun

I’m not even sure I can find words for an intro to today’s post. It’s overflowing with iNSD and Fresh Baked goodies, so I’m just going to jump right into it.

First I am excited to announce that we have a new shop opening. Dear Friends Designs by Trina opens today. Her shop is 50% off starting today through May.

Now, let’s check out all the fun things we have planned for the next week.

Get this amazing mega collab when you spend $20 in the store. Let’s {Bring on the Sun}!!

In addition, you will get this great collab when you spend $10 in the store.

Now let’s get into what the designers are offering for this week of fun!

Aimee Harrison Designs

Tami Miller Designs

Aimee Harrison Designs

Chere Kay Designs

JB Studio

Neia Scraps

Isn’t that an amazing lineup?

Don’t forget to get your challenges in for April. You’ll get this collab as a reward.

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

Selectively Colouring Your Brushes

I apologize for the slightly-late breaking tutorial. Technical difficulties with my laptop yesterday had me at the absolute limit of my tolerance for frustration (and the limits of my attention span!). By the time I got it sorted out it was time for bed… and I’m sleeping a lot, still. Anyway, let’s see what I’ve been playing with. I hope you like it!

I have quite a collection of brushes in my stash; the brushes created by the designers at GS are fantastic and there’s always a free one in the Challenge forum each month. I chose one of those monthly challenge brushes from ADB Designs for this technique (and then asked myself why I picked such a complex one…) and recoloured EVERYTHING. I chose a neutral paper from the GingerBread Ladies‘ collab Christmas of Long Ago. It has s bit of glitter, and I love it. I put my brush on its own layer – it’s a really good habit to get into – so I can play with it without messing up anything else. This is the time to adjust the size of your brush image, because it’s not easy once all the colours have been added.

I added an Adjustment layer to the top of my layer stack by clicking on the two-tone circle icon at the top of the layers panel and then choosing Solid Color… from the drop-down menu.

This is where you get to be creative. The fun part. I’ve got flowers so my colour choices are flowery colours. I used the Color Picker, but the Eye Dropper tool and the colours in your photos or paper choices are also possibilities.

My brush is still there, behind the solid colour Adjustment layer. To apply the colour to the brush, I right-clicked on the Adjustment layer and chose Create Clipping Mask from the drop-down menu.

Depending on the brush you’ve chosen, this might be all you need to do to it! But if you want to add more colours, there are a few more steps.

Next I converted my Adjustment layer/clipping mask to a LAYER MASK by Inverting it. CTRL/CMD>I and the mask turns black. It’s supposed to do that.

I made sure my foreground colour was white. When working with Layer Masks, white reveals and black conceals. Then I selected the Brush tool for a Basic round brush. You can use hard or soft for this part, but a hard brush will give you sharper edges and will be easier to control. You’ll need to adjust the size of the brush as needed to get you into the nooks and crannies of your brush, but use the largest size you can wherever possible to make the job go faster.

Then I decided which of my flowers would be that lilac colour and “painted” them pale purple with my brush. If you look at the layer in the layers panel you can see on the mask where I’ve recovered the colour.

Let’s do another colour. I clicked on the brush layer and then the two-tone circle icon and chose Solid Color… from the drop-down. Doing it this way eliminates the Create Clipping Mask step!

Here I chose a hot pink from the Color Picker. See how the parts of the brush I’ve already masked show up as pale purple and everything else is pink? This shows where the colour will go and where it won’t on this Adjustment layer.

Then I again Inverted the layer mask by clicking CTRL/CMD>I. Now I can choose the flowers that should be pink.

As I worked, I discovered that all the areas I’d already masked on the lilac layer stay masked on the other layers. That meant that where my pink flowers butted up to my purple flowers, I didn’t have to be as cautious and precise as I painted in my pinks. If my brush rode over into the purple it didn’t matter. But I DID still have to be careful around the black and gray areas.

Time for a new colour! To recap: Click on the brush layer, then the two-tone circle icon and choose Solid Color… from the drop-down menu.

This time I decided on a golden-brown for some of the foliage.

With the mask layer Inverted (CTRL/CMD>I) I painted back in the frondy-looking foliage.

Then I added some blue… Look at the layer masks and see all the areas I’ve already masked. Each layer is a little less fiddly because more and more of the brush is masked.

I found parts of the brush that I’d overlooked that should have been one or another of the colours I’d already used, so I clicked on the LAYER MASK of the layer with the colour I should have used and added those bits to the existing mask.

The result wasn’t as awesome as I’d hoped it would be, but I learned a bunch about this technique. So I found a different brush I could play with and when it was time to paint in the colours I chose, I used a misty water-colour brush. I adjusted the size and angle of the brush as I randomly painted in the colour areas. Now THIS I love!

Can you see yourself giving this one a try? I’m going to make it part of my automatic activities, I think!

The PDF version of today’s tutorial is HERE.

Fresh Baked: APRIL 23, 2021

Happy Friday everyone! Did you have a good week? I hope so. We’ve got some great goodies to share with you.

Remember any $10 spent in the GingerScraps store and you get this {happy spring} collab as a gift!

Let’s see what’s new in the store this week.

How are those challenges going? Only 10 completed challenges will get you this {spring beauty}.

Tutorial Tuesday (Photoshop Elements)

3D Photos – Yes, You CAN!

Thank you all so much for your kind messages of support! I feel a lot better, although I really poop out quickly if I’m doing something strenuous. And brain fog is a real thing. I’m thankful that my husband and son didn’t catch COVID from me and that we’ll all be vaccinated soon.

So, given I’m still having some issues with concentration and attention, I’ve whipped up a little trick I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I’m going to show you how to give a photo a 3D look. It’s not exactly what I was trying for, and I may play with it some more, but it’s still a neat look. The inspiration for this goes back a long way, to a Canadian TV show called Ancestors in the Attic (2001-2006), where the images on the screen had an obvious 3D look to them. I didn’t quite get it right, but I like it anyway.

If you decide to try this, I recommend looking for a photo with sharp contrast between the subject you want to bring forward and its background. I chose this photo I took in Las Vegas quite a few years ago. The flamingo wasn’t too difficult to extract. I’m not going to do a step-by-step review of extracting, but you can try any of the methods I’ve shown you here and here. I went with a Layer Mask so I wouldn’t have to think too much!

To be able to have the control needed to go forward, I Simplified the extraction layer. Right-click on the layer in the Layers panel, then choose Simplify Layer.

Next I added a drop shadow, using a shadow styles set from Karen Schulz. (It’s named for Snickerdoodles Designs, her former moniker.) In this set there are actually two 3D shadow styles, right at the top of the list. I chose the second one. It’s not quite right, but easily fixed.

To adjust Layer Styles, double-click on the fx symbol on the layer you’re adjusting. This menu opens up with the defaults for the style you used. First, I made sure the shadow on my flamingo was falling in the same direction as the shadows already in the photo. Don’t overlook this step! Otherwise it’ll look really faked. I increased the Size (which softens the edge), the Distance (which makes the shadow wider/larger) and the Opacity. I went all the way to 100%. The 3D effect shows now.

Here’s the original for comparison purposes.

And with the extraction and shadow…

Then, just for fun, I Copied the extraction layer and changed its Blend Mode to Luminosity. What do you think?

I might try this with a photo of the mountains we see from our deck, and maybe I’ll be able to fine-tune it. Who knows? It’ll be fun trying it.

Here is the PDF version of this tutorial: https://bit.ly/3h2BEFb

 

Fresh Baked: APRIL 16, 2021

Happy Friday Scrappers. It’s the middle of the month so that means it’s Bake Sale time!! Head over to the store and see what great kits our designers are offering for only $1 each this month!

Remember, any $10 spent in the store gets you this {happy spring} collab.

Let’s see what our designers have for us this week!

Polka Dot Chicks

Memory Mosaic

Have you picked up the Monthly Mix for April? Love the bright spring colors.

How are those challenges going? Remember you only need to complete 10 challenges to get this collab as a reward.

Tutorial Tuesday (Postponed)

I wanted to drop by and let you all know that I haven’t written a tutorial for this week, and to tell you why. On April 2, I tested positive for COVID. The symptoms I’d attributed to allergies… weren’t. I was in full isolation until yesterday; I had a “mild” case of the disease, but it has taken a lot out of me. Nine days of fever and ten days of continuous headache were not fun. I’m expected to recover completely but I’m really fatigued and having a lot of trouble concentrating. With rest and some TLC from my family (so far healthy!), I hope to have a new tutorial for you next week.